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After practicing in the United Kingdom for 17 years, family physician Dr. Ade Akindele travels with Nova Scotia Health to London conference to recruit physicians to Nova Scotia

Family physician and member of Nova Scotia Health’s physician recruitment team, Dr. Ade Akindele is pictured here at the Acute and General Medicine Conference at ExCel London.

By Jessica Long

When a physician begins their practice in Nova Scotia, this moment represents a culmination of many months’ work by the physician, our physician recruitment team, and many other partners. Throughout the physician’s journey to practicing in Nova Scotia, they are supported with immigration, licensure, practice preferences, family needs, connecting to their community, and more.

Dr. Akindele’s journey came full circle when he attended the Acute and General Medicine Conference at ExCel London as a member of Nova Scotia Health’s physician recruitment team to meet physicians and describe his experience practicing and living in Nova Scotia.

Karma Chickoski, physician recruitment consultant at Nova Scotia Health, also travelled with Dr. Akindele to the conference. Now that travel has resumed after being paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chickoski said these trips offer the opportunity to have genuine conversations and establish connections with physicians interested in moving to Canada.

Chickoski said Nova Scotia Health’s physician community is a crucial part of the recruitment process because its members have first-hand experience to share with their fellow physicians about working and living in our province.

“Having a physician who has practiced in the country that we are recruiting from and made the decision to move to Nova Scotia is invaluable,” said Chickoski. “Dr. Akindele was not only able to speak to what it is like to practice in Nova Scotia but also the process to obtain your medical license and immigrate to Canada.”

Chickoski fondly recalled Dr. Akindele having a conversation with a physician attending the conference and Dr. Akindele was asked, “Was it worth it?” and Dr. Akindele proudly responded with “Yes!”

After practicing medicine in the United Kingdom for 17 years, Dr. Akindele decided it was time to seek a new challenge and met with physician recruiters at Nova Scotia Health. Four years ago, Dr. Akindele and his family relocated to Nova Scotia. He is currently a family physician in Bedford.

“My wife who is an Anesthetist in Halifax - and my two sons love it here,” said Dr. Akindele. “We are part of an ever-growing community of UK physicians who have made Nova Scotia home.”

Dr. Akindele is one of six doctors who serve as MD recruitment and retention leads, participating in site visits and meeting with potential candidates to share their experiences of living and working here. The MD recruitment and retention leads bring a clinical perspective to the local recruitment process. They will play a key role in helping new doctors set up practice and serve as a resource as they establish themselves in their new community.

Dr. Akindele graduated from the prestigious College of Medicine, University of Ibadan in Nigeria in May 2000. After starting off his medical career doing rotations through orthopedic surgery, geriatric medicine and emergency medicine in the United Kingdom, Dr. Akindele then completed the Kent, Surrey, and Sussex residency program in Family Medicine.

Dr. Akindele said he decided to become an MD recruitment and retention lead to make a difference and help family physicians and specialists move to Nova Scotia and assist them with their transition to practice.

“Although it can be a long process (to obtain licensure), every jurisdiction reserves the right to ensure the high quality of their medical staff. However, it is worth it to get here,” explained Dr. Akindele.

Dr. Akindele said compared to practicing in the UK, he feels he has a lot more independence here as a family physician and you get to do the job you are trained to do.

“While there are certainly challenges, the patients are very caring about their doctor and it’s easier to have a proper work life balance that is offered here,” explained Dr. Akindele.

In addition to clinical and practice transition questions, Dr. Akindele said there were many questions about the weather.

“There were many questions about how cold it will be in the winters,” said Dr. Akindele. “Although its colder here, its sunnier which that alone makes people smile!”